Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

CIA, FBI Dismiss or Refuse to Confirm Israeli Bugging Operations

August 27, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Officials of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation dismissed or refused to confirm media reports about Israeli intelligence operations stemming from Ambassador Andrew Young’s meeting with a PLO representative in New York.

Latest reports alleged "U.S. government sources" and "senior officials" said Israeli agents were following PLO envoy Zehdi Labib Terzi when he arrived for his meeting with Young on July 26 at the residence of Kuwait’s UN Ambassador Abdalla Yaccoub Bishara and that Bishora’s apartment had been bugged by the Israelis for some time.

The acting press chief of the CIA, Lavon Strong, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency the CIA did not know the anonymous officials quoted in the news reports but he added, "they are misinformed. The information is not accurate."

Strong said "we agree with the position of the State Department that prior to August 11, there was no information in the State Department" regarding Young’s meeting July 26 with Terzi. "Don’t be looking for hidden clauses or any evasion," Strong said. "It’s a straightforward fact."

FBI press officer Jeff Maynard said the FBI does not comment on intelligence activities but he stressed that the allegation attributed to the FBI that the Israelis are most active in the United States, apart from the Soviets’ KGB, is wrong. "The FBI never said that;" Maynard said.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti said he has no evidence that Young’s meeting with Terzi was bugged by Israeli intelligence agents. "Based on the knowledge I’ve received… I have no reason to believe the meeting was tapped, bugged or surveilled," he said. He added that " nobody’s furnished us with any basis" for any probable cause to believe there was any bugging and that there is no basis for any investigation by the Justice Department, as has been called for by some members of Congress. The Omnibus Crime Control Act prohibits electronic surveillance unless it is authorized by the Justice Deportment.

There will be no Bulletin dated Sept. 3 due to Labor Day, a postal holiday.

Recommended from JTA